If you are looking for the biggest clouds with the best flavor, an RDA (rebuildable dripping atomizer) is the answer. Unlike conventional atomizers and tanks, an RDA does not use pre-made, enclosed coils. Coils are built by the user with specialized wire that gets red hot, and wicked using organic cotton pads or balls. Metaphorically, the transition for flavor and cloud production is Bud Light to Cristal. RDA’s do not have a juice well, and the wicking needs to constantly saturated, otherwise this will result in a harsh, burnt taste called a “dry-hit”.
Today we are building a basic “macro dual-coil” on our ZNA 50 watt variable voltage mod and Mutator RDA.
This build is considered “macro” due to the gauge of wire and number of times the wire is looped or coiled (these are called wraps). Our build today will be using 26g round Kanthal with 6 wraps. The gage thickness of the Kanthal and number of wraps has a direct correlation to the vape attributes and experience.
What we are using today:
- Kanthal – 26 gauge. You will need approximately 10 inches
- Allen key/micro screwdriver – To loosen/tighten the hardware
- Organic cotton pads – this is what will absorb the juice and act as the reservoir
- Wirecutters/snips – To clip excess Kanthal from our RDA posts. Nail clippers also work great
- Sharp scissors
- Coil jig – a tool used to wrap and install coils
2. Connect your atomizer to the jig tool and select a rod from the internal compartment. Attach one end of the Kanthal under the post of the jig. Firmly but gently wrap your Kanthal around the rod (this build uses 6 wraps), making sure there is tension with no slack. Cinch/compress the coil gently to ensure a uniform shape.
3. Remove the coil from the rod by clipping the ends, leaving approximately 1-inch leads on each end. Again, gently compress the coil, this time using our tweezers. It is important to ensure the coil is spaced evenly with no kinks or bends.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 for the opposite side.
5. Place one lead end of the coil through the inside post, and the other lead end into the outside post. Tighten the hardware (1/4-1/2 turn past snug) carefully, using caution to not snap the lead ends off your coil. Once securely tightened, snip the lead ends off the reverse side. Make sure no part of the coil is touching neither one of the posts, and that they are evenly spaced away from them.
6. Repeat step 5 for the opposite side.
7. Remove your atomizer and attach it to the mod. Ensure the LCD readout is displaying figures correctly and not showing an error. Hold the button down for 2-3 second intervals roughly 5-10 times, letting the coils cycle from cool to red hot, back to cool again. This will burn off any of the processing treatment on the Kanthal from the distributor. It is important that the coils are getting red hot from the inside-out. Hot spots can occur and will affect vaping performance.
Compressing the coils with tweezers or making minor adjustments can rectify hot spot issues. Once safe test firing has been confirmed, we are ready to wick the atomizer.
8. Cut a strip approximately ¼” in width from the pad. Carefully remove both outermost layers from the pad, and twist/roll the inner cotton to form a wick. For cotton balls, simply unroll the ball and cut/twist as needed.
9. Feed the cotton through the coil opening. Trim off excess, and unroll the cotton to fluff it up. Repeat for the opposite side.
10. Generously saturate the cotton wick with your favorite e-Juice and let sit for approximately 3-4 minutes. Thoroughly saturating your wick more than one time prior to first use will ensure that all areas of the cotton are soaked and will not burn when fired.
11. After complete saturation is confirmed, neatly tuck the ends of the wick under the coil. Set your preferred voltage, line up your airflow, and you’re ready to chase clouds.